How to Choose the Perfect Avocado
Did you know that avocados boost your fat burning metabolism? That's right, you can boost your fat burning metabolism by eating foods that contain L-carnitine. L-carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid, is synthesized in the liver and kidneys and is also derived from dietary sources, including avocados. This amino acid helps to facilitate fat metabolism, and promotes fat loss. Additionally, it is known to increase energy production in muscle cells and increase blood circulation in the brain. L-carnitine also helps to reduce triglycerides and increase good cholesterol, which helps to protect the heart.
Although avocados are one of the few fruits high in fat, most of the fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (meaning it lowers cholesterol) which means it may even shrink belly fat! While it is true that avocados are high in calories, the monounsaturated fat has the dual advantage of lowering your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, while raising your HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Yes, avocados are full of fat - but it's the good kind. Even if you are trying to lose weight, you need heart-healthy fats to support basic body functions. Avocados are a nutritious way to get these fats. There are over 500 varieties of avocados. Some are thin-skinned and green while others are thick-skinned and purplish-black. Use the tips below to find the best avocados every time you shop.
What to look for: Select avocados that are firm, but yield to gentle pressure. A good avocado will be unblemished and heavy for its size. It will have a bumpy alligator-like skin (this will be less pronounced with the green thin-skinned varieties). Look for a matte, non-glossy looking peel for a rich, creamy, hazelnut-flavored fruit. A glossy peel is an indication of a watery flavorless avocado with a funky texture.
What to avoid: Avoid avocados that have long ridges or spider veins on their peel. These markings indicate a stringy fruit. Also steer clear of avocados that smell unpleasant or have dark soft spots as these avocados will be over ripe and have black spots inside.
Storage: On average, an unripe avocado will usually ripen within three days. Refrigeration brings the ripening of an avocado to an abrupt halt. So if you have a perfectly ripe avocado that may spoil tomorrow, just pop it in the fridge and it will remain at optimal ripeness for over a week without going bad. Do not refrigerate unripe avocados because they will never get ripe while refrigerated.
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